ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Concerns about privacy are addressed in a new Rockford program that helps students who experience violence outside of class.

“Handle with Care” ensures the details about a case remain confidential. The new District 205 program gives educators a head up when a student may need additional support.

If a child is involved in, or are a witness to a traumatic event, that information goes into a police report. The Rockford Police Department will then send a “Handle with Care” notice to that child’s school, making sure that the information is accurate and details remain private.

“I have to say that the IT is the unsung hero, cause between the school district’s IT and the city’s IT, they really figured out how to automate that process and make sure that, you know, the securities around it are in place, and that really only the vital people that need to know get that information,” said Andrea Carlson of the Mayor’s Office.

Administrators at a “Handle with Care” student’s school then notify that child’s teacher.

“If I am a student and I have a test that day, maybe my teacher can pause and say, ‘maybe I’m not going to be administering that test to that student today because they’re not seeming like they’re all there and focusing on what they need to,'” said Emily Schmidt of the Mayor’s Office of Domestic and Community Violence Prevention. “And we want students to be successful, and that’s really the key is student success and providing educators with additional tools.”

What a student experienced is not important, but the way their next day at school goes could make a big difference.

“We don’t need to know the details in order to treat someone with kindness, to be observant, and if someone seems like they’re having a hard time, to extend extra support,” Carlson said.

If you are a witness or a survivor of domestic or sexual violence, visit our Stateline Strong page for available resources.